Unemployment numbers: Initial jobless claims rise, but continuing claims fall


It was a mixed week on the employment front: Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose 11,000 to 531,000 for the week ending October 17, but continuing claims fell by 98,000 to 5.92 million, the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected initial jobless claims to total 519,000 this week. Meanwhile, the 4-week moving average for initial jobless claims decreased by 750 to 532,250. A year ago, initial jobless claims totaled 479,000. Economists view the 4-week average as a better indicator of unemployment conditions, as it smooths out anomalies for strikes, holidays and other idiosyncratic events.